Heart failure among the elderly is strongly associated with vitamin D deficiency leading researchers to suggest we need more trials to test vitamin D for the prevention of heart disease.
Risk of heart failure is 12 times more likely in those with vitamin D deficiency
According to research to come out of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Brazil, the risk of heart failure is 12 times more likely in elderly vitamin D deficient subjects than in those with adequate levels. In fact, within the confines of the study vitamin D deficiency presented a higher risk for heart failure than obesity or heart arrhythmia.
The study was observational and involved 137 elderly Brazilian cardiac outpatients, while the study was relatively small the results are supported by existing literature and are consistent with previous study findings.
Vitamin D may suppress inflammatory response associated with heart disease
While the researches couldn't establish a causal effect of vitamin D deficiency on heart failure they suggested that lower heart failure risk might arise from vitamin D's ability to suppress the inflammatory response, a factor we already know is instrumental in the development of heart failure.
First author Catarina Magalhaes Porto concluded:
"The risk of heart failure was present in more than half of the elderly and was strongly associated with vitamin D deficiency and its consequences for increased risk of heart failure suggest a need of dosage recommendations for this vitamin, especially in primary healthcare services."
The findings of this latest study present more evidence of the importance of adequate vitamin D levels in the elderly for cardiovascular benefits as well as bone health.